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Universe: The Sun – God Star Series Premiere Wed 27 Oct on BBC Two

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The Sun: God Star – Professor Brian Cox begins his epic exploration of the cosmos with a hymn to the great luminous bodies that bring light and warmth to the universe: the stars.

We estimate that there are 200 trillion stars in the universe, each playing their part in an epic story of creation. A great saga that stretches from the dawn of time with the arrival of the first star, through generations of a diverse range of stars until the arrival of our own star, the Sun, and a civilisation that has grown up in its light.

The story begins by following NASA’s Parker Solar probe. The latest and most daring spacecraft to leave Earth and journey to the Sun, the first designed to ‘touch’ and experience its brutal atmosphere up close. It’s the latest in a line of missions that have revealed the secrets of not just our closest star, but all the stars.

These new astronomical breakthroughs allow us to chart the history of stars in the universe. It begins 13.7 billion years ago, only a few hundred years after the Big Bang, when the Universe was dark but not completely empty. Cutting-edge VFX will take us to the moment when an ancient structure known as the Cosmic Web became so hot and dense that the first star in the universe was born, shedding new light onto a universe that had remained dark since its inception.

Brian reveals how we can trace our own origins back to this ancient event; how there is a direct connection to that first star that flows through the generations of stars that followed and ultimately to our own star, the Sun. Because it was in those ancestral stars that the atoms we are made of were forged – from the iron in our blood to the oxygen we breathe.

Across this vast canvas Brian reveals the true nature of stars. They are creators. But we also learn that their sublime nature comes at a cost because the stars are not immortal. There will come a time in the distant future when the universe once again returns to the dark.

Airdate: Wednesday 27 October 2021 at 9.00pm on BBC Two.

Season 1 Episode 1 (of 5)